Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Artillery Equipment Sculpting Complete

Chris has now pretty much completed sculpting the artillery, and has used his computer wizardry to produce some graphics to show what the models and figures will look like.

Austrian 6pdr Gun

The original idea was to produce an accurate as possible Austrian 6pdr, and below is the almost finished article. (The only issue I know of is that the elevating wedge  (which will be a separate part) is too wide, so I have asked for it to be changed).

In order for the master figure to be robust enough to withstand repeated pressing in the mould making process,  there have had to be some compromises, such as leaving out the lighter cross pieces in the carriage trail, and locating the lifting handles of the barrel too close together. It is (in my opinion) a great improvement over the guns in the Karoliner and Rossbach ranges, and a welcome addition to the range.

And here it is with crew in waistcoats.

Austrian 7pdr Howitzer

The Liechtenstein system used the same wheels for all guns, so there is clearly some scope for reusing the wheels. Also the carriage of the 7pdr howitzer is reasonably close to that of the 6pdr, (it should be a bit deeper and heavier, and the support for the elevating wedge is in the wrong place). However I did not think we should miss the opportunity to add a howitzer to the range, so I asked Chris to produce a howitzer barrel - here it is on the 6pdr carriage.

 As discussed above, the elevating wedge is not in the right place. If it looks too far out when cast and made up, then a little work will be needed to cut out and move the wedge support forward and down - I don't have access to any castings, so cannot say how difficult it will be!

Barrels for other Nations

As the sculpting work progressed it became apparent that the gun would need to be split over two moulds, but the second would be half empty. This gave the opportunity to try and provide some reasonably representative artillery for other nations. There was no space for more wheels or carriages, but a couple of extra barrels could be squeezed in.

I carried out a review of all the information I had to hand and decided that a reasonable representation of some artillery could be provided on the Austrian carriage (purists turn away now)..........

Prussian light 12pdr

The closest I could find for the Prussians was the 12pdr M17/38, as this was a conic chambered piece it did not use such a large charge as a 'proper' 12pdr, so could sit on a smaller carriage. Here are details of the gun.............

....and here is the extra barrel on the Austrian carriage.

(Interestingly, if you look at the drawing, the Prussian barrel is identical size to the Austrian 12pdr, which also had the same wheel, but unfortunately the Austrian 12pdr carriage is 15% longer - worth a try at lengthening the cast carriage?)

And then for the Russians......

Russian 12pdr Unicorn

As far as I can figure out the 12pdr unicorn had the closest carriage size - drawings..

..and model

French Guns

As far as I can see they were all way bigger than these pieces (unless you know better)?

Interestingly the French Vallier 8pdr and famous Prussian 12pdr 'Brummer' looked very similar - so they would make a nice addition. Prince August currently have no plans to make these, so if you want them a good case will need to be made.

If you have stuck it out this far your then please take the time to comment?


Another view of the crew better showing the wheel height.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Aly Morrison's 'Hungarians'

Aly Morrison has kindly sent me some photos of units he has painted using the Hungarian moulds - rather nice I would say!

Hungarian Infantry

Frei Korps von Schony
(Made from Hungarian grenadiers)

 Frei Korps von Kliest
(Made from Hungarian grenadiers with heads sculpted by Aly - I have some on order)

The SYW range has now been going for some years.  If any of you have photos you are willing to share with the group please let me have them and I will load them onto the blog.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Artillery Update

Not a lot happening on my side with regards the 40mm SYW figures, I am currently spending valuable figure casting and painting time renovating and decorating part of my house.

I thought I had better post something just to show that the project has not been abandoned.......

Artillery Crew in Waistcoats

Chris has almost finished the artillery crew in waistcoats, there is a little more work to do, but as you can see the will make a valuable addition to the range.

The figures are intended to be quite generic, as it is not practical to make a different set for each nation - they are probably closest to French in waistcoats as the print below.

There will however be heads with both differing tricorn styles so both Prussians and other nations can be represented. If there is space there will also be Prussian and Russian bombardier heads.

6pdr Austrian Cannon

This is also nearing completion, but still a few tweaks to be done.

As always comments welcome.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Artillery Ideas?

Updated 06/12/2016 - artillery crew in discussion.
Updated 07/12/2016 - Russian Unicorn added

I am told that Prince August are getting a number of requests for artillery to support the SYW range, so have decided to make an initial release of some artillery. Their plan is to release the first artillery soon after the Austrian cuirassiers, which are being sculpted. Chris Tubb (the sculptor) has asked for advice on what to release?

Artillery Pieces

There were a great many different artillery pieces in use during the war, making it impractical for PA to release everything, so a plan is needed........................


The Austrians are the easiest to deal with, as they had a standardised system for the field artillery (it gets more complex if siege guns are included). There were just four pieces, a 3pdr battalion cannon, 6pdr and 12pdr cannons for use in batteries, and a 7pdr howitzer, also used in batteries.

The Austrian system was simplified by the fact that all the guns used the same 50 inch diameter wheels. From a modelling perspective it is further simplified by the fact that the carriages for the 6pdr cannon and 7pdr howitzer were very similar, and could probably use the same one for casting.

It should therefore be possible to produce the whole  Austrian system with just the following eight main parts:
  1. 50 inch wheel
  2. 12pdr cannon barrel
  3. 12pdr carriage
  4. 6pdr cannon barrel
  5. 7pdr howitzer barrel
  6. 6/7pdr carriage
  7. 3pdr cannon barrel
  8. 3pdr carriage
Back in February I posted an image of the Chris' start on an Austrian 6pdr cannon. Once this model is completed (to match the image at the top of the page) we will be able to see what can be squeezed into the moulds, and how things fit together?

Earlier this year I went to the  Museum of Military History (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum) in Vienna, and took a lot of photos and measurements of the barrels.

Unfortunately they did not appear to have any carriages. However I think we have most of the details needed for this range, as I have a lot of information in the books by C. Duffy and S. Summerfield on the subject. This I have I supplemented by the Osprey book on Austrian Napoleonic Artillery, this has the missing details of the carriage dimensions, which I think are very similar.


The subject of Prussian artillery is much more complex. Although they used a similar range of calibres there were many types within each of these categories.

The best place I have found for information on Prussian SYW artillery is the excellent 'My Seven Years War' blog , which has many drawings such as the one of the 12pdr 'Brummer' below.

In view of the wide variation in Prussian guns it may be possible to 'make do' with some of the Austrian guns, as for example they copied the Austrian 12pdr, and made use of captured Austrian 3pdrs.

I think there is a good case for producing the famous 12pdr 'Brummer' - if it will fit in a mould, and possibly a battalion gun with smaller wheels and longer barrel then the Austrian counterpart.

Russian & French

For discussion later!

Artillery Crew (updated 06/12/2016)

Updated 06/12/2016, I have tagged this onto the bottom of the previous post to keep comments together.
  • I suggest there need to be 4 members in a crew - 2 moulds?
  • Prussian, Austrian, Russian & French crews all had different uniforms. That would be 8 moulds - is it too many?
  • Could we use 'generic' crews in waistcoats/shirtsleeves instead?
  • What poses would be best?

Artillery Crew in Waistcoats

Thanks to Allan an Ross for feedback.

I have had a further look at the possibility of crews in waistcoats, and history is again conspiring to complicate matters as uniforms were all a bit different:
  • Prussian - sleeveless waistcoats and gaiters
  • Austrian - sleeveless waistcoats and cavalry style boots
  • Russian - sleeved waistcoat and gaiters.
  • French - sleeved waistcoat and gaiters
I have seen prints of both Russians and French gunners in the waistcoat (they are very similar),  so it would make sense to do those, but that would mean sleeves on the waistcoat.  I suppose they could all be made close enough with a paint job.

Artillery Crew in Coats

I've been looking further at crews in coats, and again they are all different:
  • Prussian - belt over left shoulder, turn backs and gaiters
  • Austrian - chord over right shoulder, turn backs and cavalry style boots
  • Russian - belt over right shoulder, turn backs and gaiters.
  • French - belt over left shoulder, full coat and gaiters
However were things really that regimented, below are two prints by Harald Skala taken from Kronoskaf.  These show the Austrian with the chord over the left shoulder, bot also with belts over the right and left, chords over the right - and none.  Also one has gaiters. Does anyone know if these can be relied on, if they can I suggest we just do some generic crew in coats with turnbacks and gaiters - thoughts.?

Artillery Poses

How about something like the picture above?

The No1 (front left) should be the loader, so relatively upright carrying a ball or cartridge (could it be made to carry either?)

The No2 (front right) could have an open hand (I don't like open hands but there are advantages here) to accept various tools.

The No3 (straddling gun) obviously not practical pose, but could either be stood to left and aiming, or stood with portfire.

The No4 (handspake) if open handed and a little more upright he might also pass as using a shovel?

Crew Suggestions

How about 4 moulds in total?

  • A generic 4 man crew in sleeved waistcoats who would cover the Russians and French
  • A generic 4 man crew in coats with turnbacks?

Russian 1/4-Pud Unicorn - added 07/12/16

Refer to Rahway's comment below:
  • Is this a 1/4-Pud Unicorn?
  • Scale - did it have a 4ft wheel?

I have a few others like these, so if they are SYW they are very useful?

Enough for now, as always feedback welcome.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

French Infantry - painting masterclass

Just to whet your appetite a little more - here are some photos of the figures Richard Hattersley has painted up for the packaging artwork - not bad I suppose?

I think that these look some of the nicest figures so far - well done Chris and Richard.

Now he needs to paint some fighting units - and Prince August need to get them into production!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

French - Swiss Guards

In case anyone is still interested in the French infantry - I thought I would post pictures of a unit I have just completed.

I went for the march attack figure with the coat tails loose, as these are something a little different. I decided to paint them as Swiss Guard as I fancied some for my French 'Karoliner' army. (They would probably have been better with turn backs, but I wanted to try the figure without them.)

With the lose coats the range has become useful for earlier periods.

You should be able to put them on your Christmas list!